Albin Kurti, the prime minister of Kosovo, accused the “allies of Russia” of influencing the normalization process of relations between Kosovo and Serbia through disinformation and other malicious cyber actions.
During his remarks at the “Open Government Partnership” summit in Tallinn, Estonia, the executive chief of Pristina warned that these actions in Kosovo are escalating.
“In Kosovo, efforts by Russia’s allies to distort the truth, the past, and the present are manifest and intensifying. “These cyber threats, such as disinformation, cyberbullying, and other forms, are particularly damaging at a time when our state is committed to the process mediated by the European Union and the United States to normalize relations with our northern neighbor, Serbia, and for the full inclusion of minorities in the state’s democratic processes without external influence,” Kurti stated.
In the past, Kosovo authorities have also accused Russia of pressuring its ally Serbia to exacerbate tensions in the predominantly Serbian-populated north. In addition, the United States and European Union have issued repeated warnings about Russian influence in the Western Balkans.
According to a report by the Kosovo Center for Security Studies, Russia’s influence in Kosovo could be interpreted as “malicious” and “hostile,” with the primary focus of Russian influence operations being on the northern Serbs.
Wednesday’s remarks by Kurti come a few days after Kosovo’s president, Vjosa Osmani, stated that Serbia intends to implement a plan similar to what Russia did in Ukraine in 2014, referring to the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula.